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By Winchester Neurological Consultants
August 16, 2021
Category: Mental health
Tags: Sleep Apnea   Dementia  

If you suffer from sleep apnea, you are at high risk of developing dementia. The physicians at Winchester Neurological Consultants, located in Winchester, VA, treat sleep apnea to decrease your risk for developing mental conditions such as dementia.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a failure to breathe during sleep and can be either obstructive or non-obstructive. With obstructive sleep apnea, your breathing fails because an open airway was unable to open up despite the brain telling it to. However, with central sleep apnea, the brain fails to send that signal causing your breathing muscles to slow.

Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea

The body requires sleep for it to repair and restore itself actively. If you experience sleep apnea, you lack oxygen during sleep, which interferes with cognitive functions like memory formation, blood pressure regulation, and weight control. The physicians at Winchester Neurological Consultants, of Winchester, VA, know these risks and would be able to evaluate you for both sleep apnea and dementia.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a syndrome that causes a progressive decline in one's ability to think, remember, hold conversations, perform certain activities of daily living, and live independently. Alzheimer's disease causes most cases of dementia.

Why Does Sleep Apnea Place You at Greater Risk for Dementia?

Studies show that sleep apnea is tied to alterations of brain structure that are seen in early dementia. For example, the reduction of oxygen discussed above may be linked to the thinning of your brain's temporal regions associated with memory decline.

Obstructive sleep apnea already increases your risk of developing other chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. In addition, since dementia and obstructive sleep apnea worsen with age, you see the most significant link between the two conditions in the elderly.

How Can I Prevent Developing Dementia?

Most often, your risk of dementia increases when modifiable risk factors are present such as:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Depression
  • Hypertension

You can treat obstructive sleep apnea with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device that continuously blows air via a face mask to keep your airway open. By treating sleep apnea, you may be able to reduce your risk of developing dementia. However, early intervention is key to its prevention because there is no cure for dementia.

Suppose you were suffering from sleep apnea and are worried about your risk of developing dementia. In that case, it is time to call Winchester Neurological Consultants at their office located in Winchester, VA, to make a consultation appointment at (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
August 09, 2021
Category: Health Conditions
Tags: Sleep Apnea   Heart Disease  

When you suffer from sleep apnea, you are at a higher risk of developing other chronic diseases like heart disease. The physicians at Winchester Neurological Consultants, located in Winchester, VA, are experts in identifying the connection between sleep apnea and heart disease and its prevention.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes a person to stop breathing intermittently during sleep. The most common cause of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea which results from a narrowed or blocked airway that restricts oxygen from getting into the lungs. Several cases of obstructive sleep apnea may go undiagnosed if your halts in breathing are not witnessed.

Sleep apnea symptoms go beyond just feeling tired or being unable to concentrate during the day. When you continuously deprive your body of the much-needed oxygen, it can cause significant stress on the body.

Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease

Sleep apnea is shown to directly affect a wide range of severe health complications, including coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, and irregular heart rhythm. For example, research shows that patients suffering from sleep apnea are 2-4 times more likely to develop an abnormal heart rhythm, increase heart failure risks by 140%, and increase coronary artery disease risk by 30%.

Sleep Apnea, Heart Disease, and Obesity

Obesity plays a significant role in your risks for sleep apnea and heart disease. Sleep apnea on its own can increase your risk for heart disease, but then add obesity as a factor, and you will see your risk for heart disease increase even more. If you suspect you may suffer from sleep apnea, the physicians at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, will screen you for the disease and offer treatment.

How obesity affects both sleep apnea and heart disease is evident. When you are obese, a more significant amount of fat deposits in the neck narrow or block the upper airway while you sleep.

With heart disease, obesity is linked to several factors that increase your risk, and they include:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome

When you have high blood pressure, your heart's left ventricle can become enlarged and weaken, leading to heart failure.

Sleep Deprivation and Heart Disease

With sleep apnea, you are not achieving the sufficient amount of rest that your body needs. When this happens, the lost sleep can negatively impact your heart health. When you receive a good night's rest, your heart rate and blood pressure drop during sleep, becoming more stable and regular. Without sleep, your heart is not experiencing this critical recovery time.

If you snore, experience daytime sleepiness, or suspect sleep apnea, reach out to Winchester Neurological Consultants today for a consultation appointment at their office in Winchester, VA, at (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
August 03, 2021
Category: Migraines
Tags: migraines  

Most people experience headaches, but migraine is a completely different type of head pain that can affect everyone in different ways. If you feel you might be suffering from migraine, you should be sure to talk to your doctors at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, to find out how to manage your migraines.

What Are Migraines?

A migraine is usually seen as a recurring type of headache that is associated with a throbbing or pulsing pain. You may also experience sensitivity to light and sound, and experience nausea or weakness. Some common symptoms associated with migraine are:

  • Prodome- This can start 24 hours before you even get a migraine and you may experience food cravings, mood changes, bloating, and constant urination.
  • Aura- Not everyone who experiences migraine will have aura, but if you do have aura, you may see flashing, bright lights or lines in your vision. You may also feel muscle weakness or as if you’re being grabbed.
  • Headache- You can experience migraine without a headache, but it’s fairly common to experience a throbbing or pulsing pain on one side of your head.
  • Postdrome- Once your migraine has passed, you may still experience fatigue and exhaustion for a full day after.

About 12% of all people in America experience migraines, but you may be more at risk if you’re a woman, have a family history of migraines, or have other medical conditions like epilepsy or anxiety. Once your doctor in Winchester, VA, officially diagnoses you with migraine, they can help you determine the best forms of treatment to manage your migraine.

Start Managing Your Migraines Today

Living with migraines can hinder your ability to participate in your daily life. Contact Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, to learn more about migraine and how you can manage your symptoms. Call at (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
July 23, 2021
Category: Health Conditions
Tags: Multiple Sclerosis  

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease affecting the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves, also known as the central nervous system. The medical professionals at Winchester Neurological Consultants located in Winchester, VA, have experience diagnosing and treating multiple sclerosis.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease, meaning your immune system attacks healthy tissue, and there is no definitive cause of this disease. When the attack occurs, the myelin sheath, or area surrounding your nerves, becomes damaged, leading to inflammation and pain. Eventually, the myelin sheath disappears from the repeated attacks leading to scars or sclerosis. They can be seen as plaques or lesions on imaging.

Only the nervous system is directly affected by multiple sclerosis, and it includes the:

  • Brain
  • Spinal cord
  • Optic (Eye) nerves
  • Brain stem

As more nerves become affected, your body loses the ability to carry out certain functions.

Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Your body's central nervous system serves as the primary control center for all your bodily functions. So, when it is damaged, you will start to see symptoms from all parts of the body.

The most common signs of multiple sclerosis include:

  • Generalized muscle weakness
  • Numbness and tingling of face, body, arms, and legs
  • Electric shock sensation with neck movement, also known as Lhermitte's sign
  • Increased urinary frequency, loss of bladder control, retention of urine
  • Constipation and loss of bowel control
  • Muscle spasms
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Impaired ability to walk
  • Depression
  • Pain

As the disease progresses, you may experience more symptoms, and mild symptoms may increase in severity.

The doctors at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, will be able to evaluate you for multiple sclerosis and create an effective treatment plan.

How Can Multiple Sclerosis Be Treated?

There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis at this time, but there are treatment options available to reduce and relieve symptoms while also slowing the progression of the disease.

The current treatment options available include:

  • Medication: Some given by mouth, injection, or infusion. The regimen is dependent upon the drug itself and individual care plan.
  • Symptom Management: Other medications may be added to the regiment that helps reduce symptoms like inflammation and pain during flare-ups.
  • Behavioral Changes: Reducing screen time when vision is affected, increased rest periods when tired, and frequent breaks with activity.
  • Physical Therapy and Assistive Devices: Help improve balance, mobility, and tremor severity.
  • Dietary Changes: May help with bowel and bladder issues.
  • Alternative Therapies: heat and massage for pain, acupuncture, stress management, and exercise.

If you have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the medical staff at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, can help you manage your condition. Please call today for a consultation at (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
July 22, 2021
Category: Sleep Disorders
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

The sleep disorder known as sleep apnea is a severe condition that should be addressed by a medical professional. The physicians at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, are sleep apnea experts and can evaluate you today.

What is Sleep Apnea?

People will sleep apnea will stop repeatedly breathing during sleep, leading to a decreased flow of oxygen to your brain and body.

There are two kinds of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Most common and is caused by an airway blockage like the soft tissue in the back of the throat that may collapse during sleep.
  • Central Sleep Apnea: This is caused by the brain failing to transmit signals to your muscles to breathe.

What Are the Signs of Sleep Apnea?

Snoring is one sign of sleep apnea, but it is not found in all patients and doesn't always mean people who snore suffer from the disorder. When you sleep, you might pause your breathing at different times or take very shallow breaths. If you sleep alone, you may never know that this occurs. However, if you have frequent fatigue and tiredness throughout the day, it may be caused by sleep apnea.

Other possible signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up to sore or dry throat and mouth
  • Waking up in the night with a sudden choking or gasping sensation
  • Insomnia and restless sleep
  • Lack of energy during the day
  • Morning headaches
  • Mood swings and forgetfulness
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Dizziness when awaking from sleep

If you experience some or all of these symptoms, the medical professionals at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, can evaluate you for sleep apnea.

Am I at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apneas affect people of all ages. Certain risk factors should be considered when determining if you are at high risks, such as:

  • Over the age of 40
  • Overweight or obese
  • Male
  • Large neck
  • Deviated septum or other nasal obstruction
  • Allergies or sinus issues
  • Large tongue, tonsils, or a small jaw bone

How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Me?

A severe sleep disorder, like sleep apnea, can cause significant issues if left untreated. You will be at higher risk of severe diseases such as:

  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Failure
  • Depression

Furthermore, your personal and professional life may be affected if you are too tired to perform your daily activities.

If you are at risk or experiencing possible sleep apnea symptoms, please don't wait and call Winchester Neurological Consultants located in Winchester, VA, today at (540) 667-1828.





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